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A talent so divine, remember too
That His moft holy book, from whom it came,
Was never meant, was never used before,
To buckram out the memory of a man.
But hush !-the mufe perhaps is too severe;
And with a gravity beyond the size
And measure of the offence, rebukes a deed
Lefs impious than absurd, and owing more
To want of judgment than to wrong design.
So in the chapel of old Ely House,
When wandering Charles, who meant to be the third,
Had fled from William, and the news was fresh,
The fimple clerk, but loyal, did announce,
And eke did rear right merrily, two ftaves,
Sung to the praise and glory of King George!
-Man praises man; and Garrick's memory next,
When time hath somewhat mellowed it, and made
The idol of our worship while he lived
The God of our idolatry once more,
Shall have its altar; and the world shall go
In pilgrimage to bow before his shrine.
The theatre too small shall fuffocate
Its squeezed contents, and more than it admits
Shall figh at their exclufion, and return
Ungratified. For there fome noble lord
Shall stuff his shoulders with king Richard's bunch,
Or wrap himself in Hamlet's inky cloak,
And strut, and storm, and straddle, stamp and stare,
To thew the world how Garrick did not act,
For Garrick was a worshipper him elf;
He drew the liturgy, and framed the rites
And solemn ceremonial of the day,
And called the world to worship on the banks
Of Avon, famed in song. Ah, pleasant proof
That piety has still in human hearts
Some place, a spark or two not yet extinct.
The mulberry-tree was hung with blooming wreaths ;
The mulberry-tree stood centre of the dance;
The mulberry-tree was hymned with dulcet airs ;
And from his touchwood trunk the mulberry-tree
Supplied such relics as devotion holds
Still sacred, and preserves with pious care.
So 'twas an hallowed time: decorum reigned,
And mirth without offence. No few returned,
Doubtless, much edified, and all refreshed.
--Man praises man. The rabble all alive
From tippling benches, cellars, ftalls, and styes,
Swarm in the streets. The statesman of the day,
A pompous and Now-moving pageant, comes.
Some thout him, and some hang upon his car,
To gaze in's eyes, and bless him. Maidens wave
Their ’kerchiefs, and old women weep for joy.
While others, not so satisfied, unhorse
The gilded equipage, and turning loose
His steeds, usurp a place they well deserve.
Why? what hascharmed them? Hath he faved the state?
No. Doth he purpose its falvation ? No.
Enchanting novelty, that moon at full,
That finds out every crevice of the head,
That is not found and perfect, hath in their's
Wrought this disturbance. But the wane is near,
And his own cattle muft fuffice him soon.
Thus idly do we waste the breath of praise,
And dedicate a tribute, in its use
And juft direction facred, to a thing
Doomed to the duft, or lodged already there.
Encomium in old time was poet's work;
But poets, having lavishly long fince
Exhausted all materials of the art,
The talk now falls into the public hand;
And I, contented with an humble theme,
Have poured my stream of panegyric down
The vale of nature, where it creeps, and winds
Among her lovely works with a secure
And unambitious course, reflecting clear,
If not the virtues, yet the worth, of brutes.
And I am recompensed, and deem the toils
Of poetry not loft, if verse of mine
May stand between an animal and woe,
And teach one tyrant pity for his drudge.
The groans of nature in this nether world, Which Heaven has heard for ages, have an end. Foretold by prophets, and by poets fung, Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp, The time of reft, the promised fabbath, comes. Six thousand years of sorrow have well-nigh Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course Over a sinful world; and what remains Of this tempeftuous state of human things Is merely as the working of a sea Before a calm, that rocks itself to reft : For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds The duft, that waits upon his sultry march, When fin hath moved him, and his wrath is hot, Shall visit earth in mercy; shall descend Propitious in his chariot paved with love; And what his storms have blafted and defaced For man's revolt fhall with a smile repair.
Sweet is the harp of prophecy; too sweet
Not to be wronged by a mere mortal touch:
Nor can the wonders it records be fung
To meaner music, and not suffer loss.
But when a poet, or when one like me,
Happy to rove among poetic flowers,
Though poor in skill to rear them, lights at laft
On some fair theme, fome theme divinely fair,
Such is the impulse and the spur he feels
To give it praise proportioned to its worth,
That not to attempt it, arduous as he deems
The labour, were a talk more arduous ftill.
Oh scenes surpaffing fable, and yet true, Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see, Though but in diftant profpect, and not feel His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy? Rivers of gladness water all the earth, And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach Of barrennefs is paft. The fruitful field Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean, Or fertile only in its own disgrace, Exults to see its thiftly curse repealed. The various seasons woven into one, And that one season an eternal spring, The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence, For there is none to covet, all are full. The lion, and the libbard, and the bear Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon. 'Together, or all gambol in the shade